previous next

[473] of the commands of Colonels Hamilton, Marshall, and Barnes, it was double fire from front and right. Being ordered to hold the position assigned me along the brook until Colonel Hamilton should fall back, I held the position, and awaited that event. My instructions were to hold the position, and be ready when Colonel Hamilton fell back, and then to pour a destructive volley into the enemy as he emerged from the pines; that Colonel Hamilton, at that juncture, would take position in my rear, to support me. After occupying this exposed position — exposed by reason of the apparently unimpeded fire of small arms pouring constantly upon us, as before stated — for an hour or so, without the appearance of Colonel Hamilton or his command, and finding my regiment severely pressed and partly surrounded by the enemy upon my right, where I had expected the regiments of our own brigade, and finding the availability of my left wing materially interfered with by the bog and undergrowth, I felt it my duty to change my position slightly. I accordingly ordered forward, as skirmishers, my right company, driving the enemy from that wood, and then threw my regiment a few yards across the brook, with a view of protecting my right, (in case of a repetition of the enemy's former movement,) and as the best means of holding my position as ordered, for the purpose indicated in that order. The brook is passable at only two or three places in the position occupied, so that a regular movement in line was impracticable. In the confusion produced by this circumstance, by the din of incessant cannon and small-arm firing, and other noise incident to battle, my commands could not be heard perfectly, and the irregular nature of the ground and the undergrowth caused a separation of the wings of my command. Major Farrow, with the right and centre companies, in a few minutes reported to Brigadier-General Gregg, near by, and under orders from him, took position on another part of the field. A fragment of three companies of the left under my command remained on the ground until night and victory closed the action. Bivouacked on the field.

Casualties.--Killed, four; wounded, forty-four. Total, forty-eight casualties. Since dead, four.

V. My regiment went into action near Willis's Church, Monday, the thirtieth June, numbering three hundred and forty-two (342) men. At half past 5 P. M., we halted in a wood adjacent to the action, and were, for nearly an hour, under a sporadic fire of shells, by which I lost one man killed. At half past 6, the brigade moved forward to the immediate scene of the battle. My regiment moved, under same orders, to the left, by successive stages, halting frequently. About half past 7, loaded, fixed bayonets, and when it neared the front of the supposed enemy, under a galling fire of small arms in front, it was ordered to form in close column of companies, and charge bayonets through a dense copse. This movement was arrested to inquire definitely whether friends or enemy were before us, for darkness utterly prevented our distinguishing by sight. Inquiry seemed to result in determining that our friends were before us, and I was ordered to move by the right, and re-form in the road from which the charge was made, which I did promptly, and bivouacked there for the night.

VI. My regiment numbered two hundred and sixty-nine (269) in the action at Malvern Hill or Crew's farm, on the first July. At five P. M. we were marched, with some halts, perhaps two miles, to a position near the road, where our line of battle was formed about eight P. M. Here we were under sporadic fire of shells until about half past 9, when the action closed. We then returned to our bivouac. No casualties.

General Summary.--Grand total, killed, five; wounded, sixty. Grand total casualties, sixty-five; since dead, five; deaths, ten.

The conduct and bearing of my regiment, officers and men, in these actions were, with a few exceptions, highly commendable. They were steady, cool, prompt, and ready. Under the most trying ordeal of receiving a severe fire for hours without returning it, they proved themselves efficient soldiers, and worthy our great cause.

Respectfully submitted.

O. E. Edwards, Colonel Thirteenth Regiment South Carolina Volunteers.


Report of Colonel Mayo.

headquarters Forty-Seventh Virginia regiment, July 15, 1862.
Brigadier-General C. W. Field, commanding First Brigade, Light Division:
General: I have the honor hereby to report the action of the Forty-seventh Virginia regiment in the recent engagements before Richmond. With the rest of the brigade, we crossed the Chickahominy at Meadow Bridge on Thursday evening, June twenty-sixth. Nothing of importance occurred until, arriving near Mechanicsville, we were opened upon by the enemy's batteries, and exposed to a most galling fire until late at night, without being able to return a shot. Our casualties at this place were ten in number, including two captains. On the next morning (Friday, twenty-seventh) we marched in the direction of Cold Harbor, and again came up with the enemy at Powhite Creek, in a very strong position. It was represented by some that it was impossible to cross the creek opposite to our position, though this proved afterward to be entirely erroneous. The brigade being ordered to advance in a double line, with the Forty-seventh in front, we approached to within musket range and opened fire, continuing to advance at the same time. But no sooner had we commenced firing than the second line also opened fire, and, finding it impossible to check it, I was obliged to make my men lie down whilst loading; and even then I had several men killed and wounded by my friends in the rear. Among the latter was Captain Green, a most gallant and efficient officer. We remained upon the ground until our ammunition was expended, and then retired to the edge of the woods, about eighty yards in our rear. Our casualties at this place were thirty-four, the


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Paul Hamilton (4)
Summary (1)
R. H. Mayo (1)
J. Foster Marshall (1)
Maxcy Gregg (1)
G. J. Green (1)
C. W. Field (1)
J. Farrow (1)
O. E. Edwards (1)
Crew (1)
G. W. Barnes (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
July 15th, 1862 AD (1)
July 1st (1)
June 30th (1)
June 26th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: